For many cases of athlete’s foot, drugs are the treatment of choice used to stop the harmful fungi. Now, James Madison University professor Reid Harris is looking to try to use natural good bacteria, instead of chemicals, to treat athlete’s foot.
Since 2002, Harris has worked with probiotics, or small bacteria, to regulate digestive tract issues. Throughout his research, he has focused on stopping a fungus that has killed amphibians. The fungus he works with infects frogs and other amphibians by growing in the skin and eating away at the outer layer, preventing them from breathing. Through the use of probiotics, the professor and his team have been able to treat this fungal infection.
This treatment spurred an idea between Harris and another biology professor, Kevin Minbiole. They began putting together an idea to use probiotics to stop athlete’s foot in humans too.
The benefit to patients is that this medicine is administered via a cream. This allows it to get to hard-to-reach places, such as under toenails. By using the same techniques they used on the amphibians, they believe that they may be able to develop another solution for humans.
Athlete’s foot can be contracted anywhere. The treatment being tested by Harris and his team would be less expensive and less caustic than today’s conventional treatments. Harris and Minbiole have filed for a patent on their research.
Although a lot of research is still needed before the product is finalized, our Parker and Castle Pines podiatrists believe that a product like this could help bring relief to many Colorado residents who suffer from athlete’s foot.